7 minutes | Aug 29th 2020

Confetti Park Storytime: Le Lutin

In this episode of Confetti Park Storytime, we hear about Le Lutin, a fairytale figure and a trickster spirit! Contributor Kathleen Welch shares some of the legends about this hobgoblin who has a knack for pranking.

Le lutin could change his appearance whenever he wanted. So you never know when you are seeing a lutin. But legends say his natural form was a little man with a long beard. He was especially fond of children and horses.

According to the Houma, Louisiana newspaper, "If you’ve ever lost your car keys or misplaced one of your socks, you just may have been pranked by a lutin." Some stories are darker. This tale of Le Lutin, from an 1870 text from France called The Fairy Mythology by Thomas Knightly, says:

The other legend named Le Lutin tells how seven little boys, regardless of the warnings of their old grandmother, would go out at night on various affairs. As they went along a pretty little black horse came up to them, and they all were induced to mount on his back. When they met any of their playmates they invited them also to mount, and the back of the little horse, stretched so that at last he had on him not less than thirty little boys. He then made with all speed for the sea, and plunging into it with them they were all drowned.

So, how to get rid of a lutin if one of these little hobgoblins is plaguing you? According to Knightly:

"The best way, it is said, to banish a Lutin who haunts a house, is to scatter flax-seed in the room that he most frequents. His love of neatness and regularity will not allow him to let it lie there, and he soon gets tired of picking it up, and so be goes away."

Thanks to Kathleen Welch for sharing this bit of French folklore. She gives credit to The Red Housewife Blogspot.